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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete - Retroview

Working Designs Comes Through Again

By: Robust Stu


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 5
   Interface 5
   Music/Sound 9
   Originality 2
   Plot 8
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 4
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Hard
   Time to Complete

60-75 Hours

 
Overall
9
Criteria

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
 

   Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete is the sequel to Silver Star Story Complete as well as Working Designs' second in their series of remakes. It is a lot like the first game in that it has a great story, interesting characters and old school goodness, but that also means that it might not appeal to people who don't enjoy old school RPGs and won't play a game with dated graphics. I enjoyed it quite a lot myself, and let me tell you why.

   Many years after the adventures of Alex in SSSC, a boy named Hiro is treasure hunting, and is drawn by a magical light to a nearby tower, where he discovers the mysterious young lady known as Lucia. Unfortunately, religious forces are after Lucia for unknown reasons, and it is up to Hiro and company to protect her while guiding her toward her destiny. Along the way you make a lot of friends, some new enemies, and you might even see an old face surprise you by showing up with unclear intentions...

   The battle system is identical to the original, in that it is mostly classic, with a bit of strategy thrown in. You have the classic fight, item, magic, run and special attack choices, but the thing that sets the Lunar battle system apart from the norm is the chessboard-like nature of the battlefield. This means that in order for physical attacks to work, your party members must be close enough to the enemies to connect. If not, that character might have to spend several turns crossing the field to get close enough to attack. I thought that this was a refreshing change from the usual classic RPG system.


I feel your pain
I feel your pain  

   The graphics, like the original, are 16-bit graphics enhanced with the abilities of the PlayStation hardware. This means everything is sprite based, but is a lot more colorful than the original version of this game. Additionally, everything is superbly animated. In addition to being fun to play, this game is also a lot of fun to look at, without having to sell the game by being a visual masterpiece.

   The music was very good, and kind of a shift for the series. While the first game had more of a rock sound to it, this game was more instrumental, but that did not take away from the aural pleasure one bit. There was a large number of tracks, and not hearing them too often made them very easy to appreciate. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and call this one of the better soundtracks of any PlayStation RPG. The sound effects were equally good. While not quite as realistic as they could have been, they were a lot of fun to listen to, which helped a lot of scenes that would otherwise drag seem to go a lot quicker.

   Working Designs did an unbelievable job localizing the first game, and they weren't caught slacking off on this title either. Along with the first game in the series, I'm going to call this one of the two best localizations on the PlayStation. Everything sounded very natural from an American English standpoint, with plenty of slang thrown in. Yes, those pesky pop culture references so many of you hate are back, but I personally didn't mind them that much, and in fact in 20 years when I play this game I'm going to hear some of those lines and think "Wow, I remember people saying that!" I know some of you are going to disagree, but memorable lines like that are what's going to make me remember this game fondly years from now and not Chrono Cross. It's another top notch localization job from Working Designs.

   This is a fairly long game and while extremely enjoyable, you might not want to sit there and play through it a second time right away. There is a bunch of extra quests you can go on after beating the "final" boss, but that's more of an extension of the game than side quests and you'll probably want to go through it right after beating the game rather than let it sit for six months and go back to it. Still, a fun game and worth a second play through at some point, if not right away.


Are you SURE you're a girl?
Are you SURE you're a girl?  

   This game, like its predecessor, was in no way an attempt to be original or do anything new and as such, this game is going to get a very low score for originality. In addition to being a classic style RPG with all the classic style menus and battle commands, it is a remake of a game which its style did not change in the slightest from its predecessor. It may have been their intention, but I have a job to do here.

This game is fairly long, spanning three discs. If you take plenty of time to level everybody up enough to have a fairly easy time getting through the game (and that's a lot of leveling up), you're looking at about a 60 hour game here. Tack on the extra section at the end, and we're talking close to 75 hours. Now THAT'S a long game.

Lunar 2 is probably the ultimate classic RPG. It totally blows away any other classic RPG you'll find anywhere, and it doesn't even tax the PlayStation that much to do it. It had an awesome story, an enjoyable battle system, a great localization, a special ending, and was just plain fun to play. What more can you ask for? There are still new copies of this sitting on store shelves in a lot of places, so go get it, now. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Highly Recommended.




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